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Marina Abramović Hon RA (b. 1946)

Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Marina Abramović has pioneered performance as a visual art form, creating some of the most important early works. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring her physical and mental limits in works that ritualize the simple actions of everyday life, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.

From 1975–88, Abramović and the German artist Ulay performed together, dealing with relations of duality. Abramović returned to solo performance in 1989. She has presented her work at major institutions in the US and Europe, including the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven,1985; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1990; Neue National Galerie, Berlin, 1993, and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1995. She has also participated in many large-scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and Documenta VI, VII and IX, Kassel (1977, 1982 and 1992). Recent performances include The House With The Ocean View at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York in 2002, and the Performance 7 Easy Pieces at Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2005.

In 2010, Abramović had her first major US retrospective, The Artist is Present at Museum of Modern Art, New York, in which she performed for over 700 hours. Using herself and the public as medium, Abramović performed for three months at the Serpentine Gallery in London, 2014- a piece titled 512 Hours after the duration of the work.

Abramović was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for the video installation and performance Balkan Baroque. In 2008 she was decorated with the Austrian Commander Cross for her contribution to Art History. In addition to these and other awards, Abramović also holds multiple honorary doctorates from institutions around the world.

Abramović founded the Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI), a platform for immaterial and long durational work to create new possibilities for collaboration among thinkers of all fields. The Institute has taken complete form to date in São Paulo (as part of the exhibition Terra Comunal, SESC Pompeia, 2015) and Athens (2016). It has presented numerous iterations of the Abramović Method in locations including Sydney, Buenos Aires, Basel, and Toronto.


Honorary RA

Born: 1946 in Belgrade, Yogoslavia

Elected Hon RA: 27 September 2011

Gender: Female

Preferred media: Performance